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View from the House: Stereotypes in schoolbooks show why we still need dates like Black History Month

PUBLISHED: 08:00 21 October 2018

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Recently I was shocked to read that a GCSE sociology textbook contained offensive and harmful stereotypes about Caribbean families.

It is unacceptable that this book was somehow approved and entered the curriculum. To have the very institution that is supposed to empower children be complicit in these lazy, damaging stereotypes is dangerous.

The fact this could be published is a clear example of the everyday racism and institutional racism that we still face in society and the racial inequality still felt across UK schools.

This book must be removed from official reading lists. And the government must bring forward guidelines on how it will prevent this from ever happening again.

It is incredibly important to have our culture and history told in a positive way. So instead of teaching offensive stereotypes, we should come together to highlight the immensely positive contribution of black people in this country.

Black History Month is an important time of year to do just that.

It is a time to celebrate the often overlooked contributions of the black community in the UK and the rich and powerful black history.

I would eventually like to get to a point where we do not need Black History Month; when our history is not confined to 31 days, when all our shared history is celebrated, taught and recognised equally.

Until then, let us reflect and ensure that all races and cultures are celebrated and respected, and that our children are taught the diverse and rich histories of all people.

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